Teddy Rocks Maths Essay Competition: Winners

I’m VERY excited to announce the winners of the first annual Teddy Rocks Maths Essay Competition as follows:

Student winner

Harriet Wood: Tessellation, Penrose Tilings and Infinity

A fantastic piece of writing that not only explained some complex topics in a clear and understandable manner, but also taught me a thing or two! The discussion of the Penrose Tilings in particular is fascinating.

Overall winner

Richard Zhang: Thinking about Higher Dimensions

A simply brilliant tool for visualising a hypercube (4D shape) alongside a detailed explanation of the thought process used to create it. Richard demonstrates excellent mathematics, communication skills and programming ability, as well as having the ingenuity and creativity to submit a visual entry.


Honourable mentions

Alice Knight: Searching for Clarity – Patterns, Chaos Theory and Nature

A lovely journey through the history of mathematics covering several advanced topics spanning fractals and chaos theory.

Ben Robson: Fun with Square Numbers

A really nice insight into the mind of a young mathematician that reminds us of the joy the subject can bring.

Ethan McColgan: To Infinity and Beyond

A brief – and very entertaining – history of the infinite from Ancient Greece to Cantor, via arguments in the playground.

Ross Evans: Mathematics vs Reality – the pursuit of perfect representation

A whirlwind tour of applied mathematics and the ways in which it can be used to try to explain the world around us. An excellent insight into why maths is often referred to as the language of the universe.

Birgit Schillinger: Loveletter to Infinity

A very creative way to discuss some of the properties of infinity, the love-letter both entertains and educates.

Darrell Barnes: Time for Prayer

A brilliant story told with bags of humour and enough mathematics to keep even the keenest mathematical reader satisfied.


The winning entries will shortly be published on the St Edmund Hall website, and all essays mentioned here will be published in full on my website over the coming weeks for you to enjoy. Direct links to each post will be added as they become available. 

A HUGE thank you to everyone that took part – the quality of entries really was incredible and I genuinely enjoyed reading each and every one. As you can see from the rather long list above, it was very difficult for me to select the winners, so don’t be disheartened if yours wasn’t selected. The competition will be running again in early 2021, so keep practicing and I hope to see even more brilliant entries next year.

And remember, keep rocking maths!

All entries can be found in the essay showcase here.

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